Jake Hawkins from music video production company The Red Red explains the process behind the making of the ‘Within Isolation’ video by Broken Links.
I was first approached by Southampton based Broken Links to produce some press stills back in 2009. Shot in a grimy subway, the stills were simple but effective and were featured in press articles and websites for the next year. The band toured and recorded, I went off and started pre production on a few other projects and we did our own thing for a while.
We were approached by Broken Links again in June 2012 with a simple brief: to produce a dark, narrative driven music video for their single Within Isolation that would pique the interests of music channels and get them some much deserved airtime. The track is a powerhouse, and after seeing them live it was clear they worked extremely well together and they looked great on camera so we had solid groundwork to build on. Within Isolation smashes along with serious energy, the kind of energy that makes your head bounce, your body shake and your fist clench. It didn’t take long to develop visuals of explosions, debris, war and chaos wrapped around this huge opening riff.
The band wanted narrative, and a good narrative requires conflict. We talked to the band and some ideas were formed for the narrative, the early concept being the band getting taken by outsiders/demons stood in the darkness. Stylistically we wanted to shoot the band heavily backlit and isolated from their surrounds, the darkness would then come alive and take them. Although visually this was a nice idea and would have looked great, the concept was still very much just the band playing their instruments, the narrative was lacking.
We went back to the drawing board and focused on the conflict. A lyric that really stuck with me was in the first verse: ‘Here, oh right here in this world you call your own. With the ceiling caving in, we’re watching with no feeling. Here, oh right here in this world you call your own. Well I could swear you could lose your mind and no one would ever know.’
Taking this quite literally I couldn’t help seeing this lonely man trapped underground losing his mind. Why was he under ground? Bam – there was the conflict. So we moved from this spiritual manifestation of evil doers taking the band away to dark places to actually having this lone survivor of some future world war losing his mind as the turmoil above ground decimates his home and destroys everything. The bombing finally stops and he cautiously surfaces to see the remains of the place he once called home only to find the vision so shocking that he loses the will to live, removes his gas mask and succumbs to the poisonous fall out. Well the band said they wanted dark…
The shoot was spread over three locations and two days and required the acting chops of Joe Rainbow who I had the pleasure of working with on Zombie Resurrection in 2011. Joe is a great method actor, very professional and great fun to work with which is a great plus when you are asking an actor to lose their mind, it can take you to pretty dark places but Joe was able to switch it on and off on cue and we got some great footage.
The final video was delivered and a few months later the band told us it was accepted on Kerrang TV and would be aired over December. It was great to know the brief had been filled, the band were happy and we were happy with the final result. But almost one year later I received a call from lead singer Mark Lawrence to tell us the video had been picked up as part of The Sun newspapers statistics show ‘For The Record’ so it was a double win for us and the band.
The Journey doesn’t end there for us and Broken Links. As mentioned, 2011 was a very crazy year in that I co-produced my first feature film Zombie Resurrection with Andy Phelps under our production company Charmed Apocalypse Pictures. If you look and listen closely, not only does Broken Links lead singer feature as a member of the horde who gets his head sliced in two via a metal tray, the band also provide the exit music (Life of the Biologically Dead) for the film and it’s an even more powerful beast than Within Isolation. Zombie Resurrection had it’s world premiere in Chicago, IL on Saturday 25th October 2013.
I guess the next logical move on our journey is to produce the video for Life of the Biologically Dead – then let’s see where that takes us all next…